Sunday, February 27, 2011

S.O.A.P. Out of the Bottle Impressions

I received my S.O.A.P. fragrances on Friday, and I really could not wait to get started with my testing. I spent Friday night and all Saturday sniffing and comparing the fragrances to what I know and getting the opinion of a few family members.  These are my first impressions out of the bottle.  I wanted to post these before I tested them in soap so I could compare before and after.  The first three are gardenia (we were actually clued in on that fact).  The remaining seven are a mystery.  I thought that I might smell some of them and know instantly which flowers they resembled, but I was wrong.  It is very difficult to identify these fragrances, even though some are familiar.  So instead of trying to positively identify the flower, I am giving my impressions with some flower possibilities.

Gardenia #1:  Light and pleasant.  In my opinion, out of the three this one smells least like an actual gardenia flower.  It is definitely something I would like to use though, as the scent is not lingering or overpowering.

Gardenia #2:  This one is more earthy than the first.  I also feel this one smells more true to the gardenia flower than the 1st.  It smells very much like the former gardenia scent offered by Bramble Berry, which I have used and love.

Gardenia #3:  This is my favorite out of the three gardenias.  Out of the bottle, it is spot on like the gardenia flower, especially in the finish.  As gardenias are one of the few flowers I am extremely familiar with, I am positive about this one. Love it!

#4: Very pleasant.  It starts off strong like a lily and finishes very green smelling.  It created a very nice visual of the flower and the greenery.  I really like this scent.

#5:  Very strong and syrupy sweet.  It reminds me of honey and cloves, some kind of syrupy, toasted dessert or of some kind of liqueur.  I really have no idea which kind of flower it could be, maybe honeysuckle or something similar?  I am very curious to smell this one in soap.

#6: I really like this one.  A clean, fresh floral...freesia comes to mind.  It finishes really powdery and clean.

#7: Sweet and citrus.  It could easily be orange blossom or some other citrus flower.  

#8: This is very different than the others.  I feel it is much more masculine and peppery.  I can smell spice and possibly cloves?  I'm not sure what flower to compare this to right now.

#9:  I immediately thought of melon when I first smelled this one. It is quite sweet.  I also smell a hint of peppermint. Hmmm...Jasmine, maybe?  That would be my best guess.

#10:  I was hit instantaneously with the feeling of nostalgia when I smelled this one.  It reminds me of OFF bug repellent in a way, which I hate to say because you might think, "uhhh, yuck," but it is not an unpleasant smell to me.  I think of the outdoors and camping.  I am calling this one Citronella Rose for now because those are the two most predominant scents to me.

Wow, I have a whole new respect for those who did the first S.O.A.P. panel.  However, I am very inspired to do some gardening and to pay more attention to the scents of the flowers I encounter.  I am sure that I am way off on some of my guesses. I am quite curious to see how my impressions of these scents will change after they are in soap and if I will be able to more easily identify the flowers. 

I am testing these fragrances this week, and I will, of course, share my results with you here. Stay tuned...

Monday, February 21, 2011

S.O.A.P. Panel Update - Guess who made it?! ME!!!

I am so happy to say that I have been picked as a member of Bramble Berry's S.O.A.P. panel! Of course I couldn't wait to announce this on Facebook and Twitter as soon as I heard, but I thought I should make it official by writing about it here.  I will soon receive some fragrances in the mail to test and evaluate.  I am extremely excited to get started!  I will keep you updated and share my impressions and experiments here.  It is going to be extremely fun, but I also realize it is quite an undertaking.  I feel a tremendous obligation to not let my friends at Bramble Berry down.  A little birdie told me there are going to be no less than four gardenia fragrances in the mix.  Good thing that is my favorite scented flower of all time!  Stay tuned...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bonsai Goat Milk and Funnel Soap

I tried a new technique of soapmaking a couple weeks back and now I am in LOVE!!  I have been wanting to try funnel soap for some time, but I was a little intimidated and unsure that I would be able to get the effect I was looking for.  I am so glad that I decided to just go for it.  I knew that I wanted this soap to look a little more earthy because the fragrance is called Bonsai, which makes me think of  bonsai trees (of course), bamboo, and the outdoors in general.  When I first take in this scent I immediately think ginger, so I wanted that color in there as well.  I knew that if I used goats milk (which I've also been wanting to do) I would get a tan color without having to actually use a third colorant, so I decided that was the way to go.  I did a lot of research on this method before attempting it.  This tutorial was very helpful and detailed.

This is what the soap looked like in the mold.  It is so pretty.  I found it very difficult to wait the appropriate amount of time before I cut it. So exciting!

I am very please with how this soap turned out.  The awesome thing about this kind of soap is that each cut of the soap is truly unique.  The pattern is determined by where it is located in the mold.  I had a hard time picking my favorite. This is the soap right after cutting it. You can see how the parts that were white in the mold darkened a bit because of the milk.

It has a couple more weeks to cure before it will be available.  Do I see more funnel soap in my future?  Yes, I believe that I do!! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

S.O.A.P. Panel Entry

Brambleberry is choosing some soap makers for their S.O.A.P.  panel to try out some new floral scents. Although I never really thought of myself as a floral scent lover in the past, I have found several from Brambleberry recently that I have fallen in love with and that have made some awesome soap (my latest being White Magnolia).  It would be really great to be picked for this panel because I could further develop my sense of what I like in a floral scent and could fulfill some requests from customers that I have had lately.  With Spring on the horizon, this is just the kind of thing that will inspire my future projects.  So as there are many people eager to participate in this soapy honor, I hope to be chosen, but I will be anxious to witness the chatter among those who are testing these new florals.  It is always a fun time.  

As part of my entry, I was asked to talk about my favorite Brambleberry product.  This is a really difficult task, as anyone who has experience with this company knows, because everything they sell has impeccable quality.  I have tried scents and oils from other companies, and I always go back to Brambleberry because the others just come up short in comparison.  So back to my favorite product... Yesterday I posted everywhere that my favorite scent right now is Cherry Almond, which I love.  I also thought it would be appropriate to choose a favorite floral.  If that was the case, I would without hesitation choose Grapefruit Lily.  It combines my two favorite things in a scent, citrus and floral.  I never get tired of this scent and I have used it in several products with yummy success.